For many of us, networking can be downright intimidating. Whether you’re in need of a full-time job or looking for supplemental freelance/contract opportunities, the thought of schmoozing with people who can assist you can seem like a painful, manipulative, or insincere task. If your idea of the perfect schmoozer is someone insanely outgoing — not to mention shallow — then you need to rethink the art of making contacts. The truth is, networking is about building sincere, productive relationships that are based on respect and the willingness to keep in touch.
What’s more, the people who can point you in the right direction are the same ones who might need your help later on. It’s a two-way street. You’re not asking for a handout — you have something to give as well, like offering advice and sharing your expertise. And don’t forget to update your contacts when things are going great, too, like sharing your accomplishments and pointing out job openings at your company. Keeping in touch is easy through sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Or perhaps you prefer the in-person approach via lunch dates, parties, and conferences. In either case, start with a base of friends, family, and coworkers (past and present), and watch your network grow
So what are your schmoozing strengths? Using your natural talents, as indicated by your Sun and ascendant signs below, will help you be both authentic and effective while networking.
Pisces: Your thoughtfulness and perceptiveness, mixed with a certain mystique, draw contacts into your networking circle. By heeding your intuition, you’ll be naturally drawn to people who can assist you. Conversely, your compassionate nature is always ready to lend a helping hand. You’ll just need to keep your goals strongly in mind so you don’t get distracted by the needs of others.
Aries: Your enthusiasm for new plans, projects, and people make you a natural networker, if you don’t let fear of rejection stymie your efforts. People are intrigued by your high energy and definite opinions. Your competitive, self-centered nature can be both a draw and a turnoff, so consider the needs of others when you’re making contacts.
Taurus: People are drawn to your genuineness and aura of dependability. You have a subtle but powerful charisma that attracts people who can assist you. However, this attractiveness can also make you lazy, so you may need to be more outgoing in seeking out contacts. Once you make a contact, though, you’re excellent at keeping them in the loop.
Gemini: Your strong verbal skills and curiosity about people make you a natural networker. You can talk to just about anyone. Plus, you have an abundance of witty and knowledgeable tidbits to share, which makes you both valuable and entertaining as a contact. Just remember to listen closely to others when they have something to share.
Cancer: Your ability to connect emotionally with people can inspire a devoted following of contacts. You also have a feel for what the public wants and needs, which makes you a valuable person to know. However, you’re way more comfortable with people in your inner circle, so you may need to network with someone who can make some introductions.
Leo: Whether you’re a lion that roars or a lion that purrs, people are drawn to your compelling charisma, creativity, and confidence. As such, in-person networking may work best for you. Your generous nature is quick to open doors for others, but if you’re the one in need of a break, your pride may keep you from asking for assistance.
Virgo: People are attracted to your expertise and quiet self-assurance, and you’ll go out of your way to help others find success. You have the ability to see opportunities that others overlook. It’s obvious when talking to you that you have high standards. Just remember that a contact or opportunity doesn’t have to be perfect to be valuable.
Libra: Your obvious interest in people empowers your talent for networking. Charming and intelligent, you’re a magnet for a wide range of contacts, which can be superficial if you don’t develop at least some these relationships further. Still, this large networking circle, along with your strong sense of give-and-take, enables you manifest opportunities.
Scorpio: You have a talent for finding people who can assist you, and you’re not above using your contacts to the fullest of their abilities. It’s a testament to your intense passion, focus, and personal power that your contacts usually don’t mind being used by you. After all, you bring out their best, to the benefit of both parties.
Sagittarius: Your outgoing, optimistic nature is a beacon for contacts, not to mention lucky opportunities. People just know you have something fantastic up your sleeve, even if it seems like a pie-in-the-sky venture. By seeing the bigger picture, and with a touch of serendipity, you’ll often pull it off, too. Just don’t promise more than you can deliver.
Capricorn: People are drawn to your integrity, strong goals, and grounded approach to life. You may not be the most sociable person in group settings, but you will pursue contacts who can open doors for you. However, you may need to share your lighter, fun-loving side while networking, so people see get a deeper sense of who you are.
Aquarius: You ability to excel in group gatherings and online networking allows you to make contacts easily. People are attracted to your inner brilliance and unique individuality. Likewise, your interest in talented, brilliant people from different backgrounds energizes your networking circle. Keeping your goals in mind while networking, so you’re not just socializing, is the challenge.
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